WANDAVISION’s Agatha Was Always Meant to Be Kathryn Hahn

Agatha Harkness is one of comics’ most famous witches. And now thanks to WandaVision, she’s also a fan fave MCU character. When we sat down with series director Matt Shakman, he shared why she was the perfect foil for Wanda. He was also quick to heap praise on everyone’s favorite breakout star Kathryn Hahn. And he might have even teased her return…

Agatha looks stymied on the streets of Westview.

Marvel Studios

So out of all the potential magic users in the Marvel Universe, why Agatha Harkness? “She has such a long history with Wanda in the comics that she presented herself early on as a logical foil,” Shakman told Nerdist. “She’s also an interesting character in those comics because she’s a mentor as well as an antagonist. And this was a story—yes about grief—but also about transformation and identity. We were setting Wanda on a new path into this Scarlet Witch title. Who is the Scarlet Witch? And we needed another witch to be able to tell her a little bit about that. So Agatha is both a mentor and antagonist in our show, too.”

Kathryn Hahn quickly became the breakout star of WandaVision. But as Shakman shared, he never thought he’d actually be able to cast her in the show. “She’s a national treasure,” Shakman smiled. “I absolutely love her. She’s a genius. She’s an awesome human. I’ve known her forever. I used to do theater with her husband. I’ve always admired the heck out of her but I’ve never had the chance to work with her. And she was always the prototype for Agatha. ‘We want someone like Kathryn Hahn.’ But Kathryn Hahn is always working because she’s a national treasure.”

Agatha looks over Wanda's shoulder

Marvel Studios

An unexpected meeting at Marvel Studios changed all of that. “She came in for a general meeting at Marvel and Louis D’Esposito brought her by my office to say hi and reconnect,” Shakman explained. “And in this little innocent conversation she was like, ‘No, no, I’m free, I’m available. Mrs. Fletcher is not doing season two.’ Like a demon rabbit, we pounced.”

Shakman continued,” So it worked out great, timing-wise. She’s capable of anything. And the show, by construction, needed actors who could do broad comedy in a variety of periods and styles, then also deliver heartbreaking drama. The penultimate episode is its own acting challenge, and it’s extraordinary in terms of what’s required there. Then she needs to be able to own the space as a villain and fly about the skies of Westview and have fun.”

Kathryn Hahn's Agatha Harkness performs magic and holds a glass of wine in a scene from WandaVision.

Marvel Studios

“So really there isn’t anyone except Kathryn Hahn who can do all of those things,” Shakman said. “And I’m thrilled that so much more of the world is realizing that now because she should be celebrated.” As for whether Shakman has more Agatha stories he wants to tell… “Yeah, 100 percent,” he teased. “There’s a rich history where she’s been, and there’s a rich history to come for sure.”

Featured Image: Marvel Studios

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